Red Insects

I have in my garden soil very small, red ant like insects which appear when the soil is disturbed. They were confined to my flower beds but they are now infesting the lawn where they leave mounds of very fine soil where their nests are. Can anyone identify them and tell me if it is possible to eradicate them or at least keep them in check?


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    Red ants probably-try an ant killer of if you are not squeamish- boiling water

  • Thanks for the swift response. I have tried this method with boiling water but they just appear somewhere else.
  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    You will just have to keep plugging way -eventually you will get there.

  • They will take ant powder back to their nest and you then stand a better chance of gettng them all. If you only partially destroy them, they will go elsewhere and you may even end up with two nests where you only had one.

  • Jean GenieJean Genie Posts: 1,724

    They could possibly be velvet mites - they are bright red and leave red smuts when squashed . I sometimes get them on the patio and in the conservatory . If they are very small I can't see them being red ants . They are a little larger than the run of the mill black ants and usually leave a small mountain . We had a nest a couple of years ago - horrible little critters . And they bite.

    I have a red ants nest in my lawn/ border. I have put ant powder on them a few times but they are still there. Will keep it up tho as eventually it will get rid of them.

    I cant see it being velvet mites as they dont nest in the grass and bring up all the fine soil like they ?
  • Thank you all so much for your swift replies, they were much appreciated. I will continue with boiling water and hope that I can triumph in the end!
  • Just did some research on the net. Velvet mite larvae have six legs and feed on blood from spiders, etc, and occasionally from humans! The adults (eight legs) feed on vegetable matter and garden debris. Sometimes called harvest mites, they can attach to the skin of animals and bite them. They live in garden and woodland debris. Red spider mites are much more common  and damage plants, but are only red in autumn. They lay their eggs on the underside of leaves.

    I know nothing - this is just a bit of research. But it looks as though they don't nest in the ground and create heaps of soil.

  • Jean GenieJean Genie Posts: 1,724

    Hmm wonder what they are then ? Suggested velvet mites because Mortane said they were very small and ant like. Must admit I've never seen them in the garden though but would have thought an ant would be easily identified - one of the great mysteries of life !

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